Tigger showed up on our porch in the late 1980’s. At that time all our cats were allowed to go outside during the day and they seemed to accept him as friend. We had a “cat house” on the porch and Tig moved right in. We fed him and he seemed to be happy. Finally we realized he wasn’t going anywhere and decided to make him one of ours. He got a clean bill of health from the vets, got his shots and was neutered.

www.yessy.com/lauradummHe continued to love the outdoors but satisfied that he was part of our family. He quickly let us know he was a “no nonsense” kind of cat. He wasn’t crazy about cuddling and soon all the kids in the neighbourhood knew they should not try to pet Tigger or he would give them a swat!

Tig had his rules. He was a cat and he expected to be treated as one. He demanded respect and he got it! As he got older he formed a relationship with Gary. After a hard day of being a cat he would sit with Gary and watch a bit of TV before retiring for the day. He would also climb up on Gary’s lap to watch him draw his comic strips during the day. They were buddies, guys just hanging out.

As the years passed we noticed that Tigger had a sinus condition that was probably caused by the tough life he had before he found us. This made him “sneezy” and for the remainder of his life he would shower us with lovingly wet “Achoo’s.” He liked to get right up in Gary’s face and Schnootz! This caused Gary to sleep with a blanket over his face. Although it was a bother, we loved him so much, we learned to live with it.

He had us trained. Whatever he wanted he got. Tigger liked water; he had a cup that was always full on the bathroom sink and one in the kitchen sink. We would fill them, he would take a drink, then knock it over, look at us and we would promptly refill the cup. This would go on till one of us got tired and moved to another room. He was always waiting at the bathroom sink in the morning when we would get up. He also loved to watch the process of washing dishes. He persistently tried to get in the sink that was used for rinsing the soapy dishes, thinking that we were filling up glasses, bowls, and cups just for him. This usually resulted in his having a wet head and feet.

As he aged he mellowed a bit. He was still top cat but wasn’t pushy about it. He loved to sleep on the enclosed porch in the sun and continued to live his life as “the cat”. We noticed he was slowing down and when we took him to the vets we were told his kidneys were very small. Although we knew he would not live forever, we were sad to think the end might be soon.

On Monday Tig was having trouble getting up to the sink for his drink and by Wednesday we were sitting with him as he slipped away from us. It’s a full moon and I think about the part in T.S Eliot’s poem about cats that goes:

Now Old Deuteronomy just before dawn
Through a silence you feel you could cut with a knife
Announces the cat who can now be reborn
And come back to a different Jellicle life.

I hope that cat is Tigger, and I hope he finds his way back to our house.

© Laura Dumm 15 December 2005

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A Morning Kiss

A morning kiss, a discreet touch of his nose landing somewhere on the middle of my face.
Because his long white whiskers tickled, I began every day laughing.

Janet F Faure

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